- Focus on generating antibodies and demonstrating pre-clinical activity against a novel T-cell immune-checkpoint
Hamburg, Germany, 06 July 2017: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today that the Company has been awarded a 'Programm für Innovation' ("PROFI") grant for a period of two years from the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank ("IFB Hamburg"), the central development institution of the Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg, to identify and develop therapeutic antibodies directed against novel immune-checkpoints on T-cells to improve future cancer treatments.
Immuno-oncology has emerged as a particularly promising field to create superior and potentially curative treatment options for many cancer patients. Over the recent years, Evotec's fully integrated drug discovery and development infrastructure has been adapted to facilitate high-throughput functional screening of monoclonal antibody candidates in complex biological assays. This grant will fund a programme focused on demonstrating pre-clinical activity for at least one first-in-class antibody against novel immune-checkpoints active against patient-derived tumour cells, a hallmark of current immuno-oncological approaches.
This EVT Innovate-anchored programme is designed to utilise synergies between Evotec's infrastructure for the identification of novel therapeutic antibodies and Evotec's collaboration partner, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf ("UKE"), for the long-term understanding of immunological mechanisms, antibody-based cancer therapies and oncological screening.
The grant funding has been awarded under the IFB's 'Programm für Innovation'. The 'Programm für Innovation' was created to fund Hamburg-based R&D projects delivering novel or significantly improved products, processes or services across different disciplines. The grant will fund R&D work at Evotec and the UKE for a period of two-years.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "We are very pleased that the IFB Hamburg has chosen to support Evotec's antibody based immuno-oncology approach. IFB's support will accelerate UKE's and Evotec's combined efforts to discover and develop new treatment options for cancer patients in a very exciting and promising field."
Benjamin Fischer, Program Advisor Innovation of IFB Hamburg, said: "We are very proud to promote such an innovative and important life sciences project with grants of the Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. We are particularly pleased that our financial support will enable both partners Evotec and UKE in transferring and strengthening important know-how in developing an innovative antibody-based cancer therapy. We expect this R&D funding to help the Hamburg location to achieve major importance within the field of life sciences and innovation.